What a weekend! I am not sure where to even start this post. As anticipated, our weekend in Nashville was incredible. The events and fun of the weekend were interrupted by a 13.1 mile half marathon on Saturday morning but took nothing away from the weekend! Let me say it like this:

1. Nashville is NOT flat

2. A BUNCH of people run in this race (30,000 or something like that)

3. David Schroeder and his wife are about the nicest people on the face of the planet.

4. Nashville, Tennessee has vaulted to the top on my list of 5 best places in the United States

Imagine a city that brings all of your favorite things in this world into one place. Music, lyrics, entertainment, authors, publishers and everything deep fried in something. THAT is Nashville, Tennessee. Our journey started Friday at packet pickup where we met up with Matt and Rachel Wojnarowski. After some pictures and fun, it was off to finally meet Dave Schroeder and his family for the first time in person. The rest of the evening we spent filling up on carbs and catching up with one another.

Way too early Saturday morning we were up and out the door. The Weather Channel was broadcasting threats of severe thunderstorms, hail and the Doppler radar was one massive mess. It looked like something out of the movie “Independence Day” hanging over the city of Nashville. We made our way to the race and jumped in to the stream of people already going through the starting gate. 13.1 miles later, not a single drop of rain touched down! We had made it through another memorable half marathon. The course was full (and I mean FULL) of long, slow, steady inclines. These were not hills, they were inclines. The personal highlight for me came around mile 11 where I was able to high five Sock Monkey as he stood on the side of the road cheering. It doesn’t take much…honestly….

After an afternoon of rest and recovery, one of the greatest, if not biggest highlights of the weekend happened. This one wasn’t even planned or scripted, it just sorta happened. Dave was kind enough to make us reservations at Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant for dinner Saturday night. We were told it was “Songwriter Night”. To be honest, I had an image of a guy with a yellow legal pad, a guitar and a stool singing really bad songs. Little did I know we would be treated to an evening with 3 songwriters that had penned songs like “Amazed” (Lone Star), “Wasted”  (Carrie Underwood), “When God Fearin’ Women Get the Blues” (Martina McBride) and the prize of the evening…”Amy’s Back in Austin” (Little Texas).

What makes that song so special? When my wife and I were dating, that song by Little Texas caught my attention. I thought the name “Amy Austin” would be beautiful if we ever had a girl. When we found out our first child would be a boy, I dropped the “Amy” portion and “the boy” had his name. I literally named my first born child after a country song. The same country song that the former lead singer of Little Texas and songwriter Tim Rushlow would perform for us Saturday evening! When the evening came to a close, I was able to walk directly up to the man that penned and sang the song to tell him my story. We exchanged some handshakes, laughs and my memory of Nashville was cement and complete.

I once again would like to thank Dave Schroeder for making this such a memorable and special weekend for my wife and I. I’d like to thank Rachel and Matt for allowing us to be a part of their special day to honor their beautiful daughter Taylor. I’d like to thank my good friend Jeff for sharing the journey of yet another race. Congratulations to all that finished. It was a weekend we will never forget!

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